It’s so tempting these days to skip the trip to the doctor and hop on Google instead. You can type in any symptom and get “answers” to the cause of any of your symptoms, from raging headaches to sleeplessness to itchy bumps.
Self-diagnosis for any malady is not a particularly good idea. For those who suffer from the debilitating symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), self-diagnosis is a particularly insidious endeavor.
Here are a few reasons why self-diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder isn’t going to help you get the relief you need:
Co-occurring Medical Conditions May Be Missed
In the article “The Dangers of Self Diagnosis,” written by Srini Pillay, M.D., and posted on Psychology Today, Pillay discusses the dangers of self-diagnosis in psychological syndromes:
“You may miss a medical disease that masquerades as a psychiatric syndrome. Thus, if you have panic disorder, you may miss the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism or an irregular heartbeat. Even more serious is the fact that some brain tumors may present with changes in personality or psychosis or even depression.”
Pillay points out that while you might feel okay about not receiving traditional treatment for anxiety or depression, you may feel differently about receiving treatment for, say, a brain tumor.
Objective Point of View isn’t Possible
Again, for any disorder, mental or physical, it’s nearly impossible to be objective about oneself. Sure, we ask others their opinion regarding our clothes or our new haircut because, on this level, we are okay with accepting that we may not see ourselves as objectively as others.
If only we could extend that openness to our health and let a professional be our mirror. Particularly when it comes to Borderline Personality Disorder. Meeting with an objective, trained medical professional is the only healthy way to receive a diagnosis of BPD.
False Sense of Control
If you self-diagnose BPD, you may be giving yourself a false sense of control over your symptoms. Akin to the smoker who says, “I can stop anytime I want,” and who then sneaks cigarettes in the tool shed, you are putting too much pressure on yourself to know how to deal with your symptoms on your own. You are also rejecting one of the most valuable tenets of recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder: support.
Seeking help can be overwhelming. There are so many options when it comes to Borderline Personality Disorder treatment centers. Find the information for centers near you and visit or call to inquire about their process of diagnosis.
You May Be Wrong
Anytime you try and self-diagnose your symptoms, you run the risk of getting it wrong. That puts you at further risk for seeking treatment for the wrong diagnosis, or attempting self-help remedies that aren’t appropriate.
When it comes to Borderline Personality Disorder, you don’t want to be wrong. With proper diagnosis and a treatment plan formulated specifically for you, the statistics for recovery from the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder are high.
“Of patients with BPD who were hospitalized and then released, up to 70 percent no longer met criteria for the disorder in a six-year follow-up period,” said Alexander Chapman, Ph.D, author of The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide. “Of those people who stopped meeting criteria for the disorder, 94 percent of them never met criteria again across the six years.”
Help and hope is out there, but it’s a collaborative effort. You don’t want to risk misdiagnosing your symptoms through self-diagnosis and not getting the treatment you need to recover from Borderline Personality Disorder.